Reviving indigenous culture with her enterprise : Diana Gurumayum

Leslin K Seemon
Oct 06

Starting an enterprise is no easy feat. One needs to tread off beaten tracks and venture into new realms. Something Diana Gurumayum was willing to do after she finished her post-graduation at Banglore University.

She returned to her home town in Manipur after completing her studies. The opportunities were limited and she had to find her own way. As an ambitious young lady, she started her own enterprise ‘My Kangla tours and travel ltd

Wonder what’s the story behind the name?
Kangla (Imphal) was the ancient capital of pre-modern Manipur. The Palace of Kangla is an old palace at Imphal in Manipur. With her enterprise, Diana wishes to promote the rich heritage of her native.

Diana started her ‘My Kangla’ back in 2016. As any novice entrepreneur, she too had little knowledge about how things work. In the beginning, her husband helped her with compliance, filing taxes etc which now Diana says is one of her expertise.

During the early days, she partnered with other B2B agencies that lacked infrastructure and offered travel services like flight booking, homestays etc. With time, My Kangla started to promote community tourism and eco-tourism. Diana now generates employment opportunities for local craftsmen, food producers by creating a demand for indigenous products through My Kangla. She also provides language training to local guides and gave them the means to earn income.

Through the years, her enterprise has been evolving gradually. She had her lows during the pandemic when the business was a slump. She shared that her employees didn’t have any source of income either. She and her husband would visit them and provide for them as the times were dire. At times she felt lowly but only to come back stronger. Diana is now working hard to set up their app on digital platforms, and she is learning new things on the go.

During the year 2018-19, she attended several incubation programmes arranged by our impact partners – Dhriiti and Her&Now in Imphal. It gave her a better understanding of what more she could do and the adequate knowledge required to run a successful business. Our Impact partners have laid the foundation for many new entrepreneurs through successive mentoring and training workshops.

Diana received a loan of Rs 50,000 from Rang De at a very crucial standpoint in her entrepreneurial journey. She needed working capital for Inventory management and advertising. She had partnered with the decathlon and other b2b services for renting equipment like sleeping bags, tents, etc.

“Getting a loan from banks here is very difficult even if we do the compliance and taxes. They aren’t confident about lending to entrepreneurs” says Diana.

She had applied for a loan from a bank for 5 lakhs rupees, but she has to maintain a deposit of 1.5 lakhs in the same bank to get the loan. Such are the terms and conditions. She also added that “There are no special services or plans for entrepreneurial loans. While in other states the same banks do provide those services. Here there is limited knowledge when it comes to credit.”

If not Rang De, she would have had to ask for personal loans from her family or friends. Diana has been trying hard to scale her business, she wants to provide her services in different regions of Manipur.

Rang De Social Investors made sure availability of credit shall not hinder the promising future of My Kangla tours and travel.

Your Social Investments can back entrepreneurs like Diana who have immense potential but lack the essential facilities needed.

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